The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


LSE Study Abroad Program Not Offered in 2024-25

The Office of Study Abroad at Fordham has unceremoniously removed the partnership from its list of approved opportunities
Fordham has not announced and declined to confirm details regarding the program’s status.

The study abroad partnership program between the London School of Economics (LSE) and Fordham University will not be offered as a part of the Office of Study Abroad’s list of approved programs for the 2024-25 academic year, according to Andrew Byrne, assistant director for partner and exchange programs. 

Joseph Rienti, director of study abroad, declined to comment on the state of the LSE study abroad program and refused to address the specific reasons behind the decision to not offer the program in the following academic year. He stated that Fordham continues to monitor “the health, safety and security risks in locations where students, faculty, and staff travel.”

Will Breare-Hall, student recruitment and study abroad manager at LSE, said that as of Oct. 27, he had not been notified by Fordham that the program would not be offered for the 2024-25 academic year. He described the news as both a “surprise” and a “disappointment.”

D’Souza added that while he was unaware the program was not being offered in the next academic year, he was not surprised as he described many problems at LSE during his stay.

“Fordham and LSE have worked together for many years and we have been delighted to welcome Fordham students to the School,” Breare-Hall said. “I hope this decision reflects a hiatus in, rather than an end to, our relationship.”

The partnership with LSE afforded students the opportunity to study at the institution — which is ranked seventh in the world for economics and business — for an entire academic year. Other comparable programs, such as those offered at Fordham’s London Centre campus, have a duration of one semester.

Fordham students who studied abroad at LSE participated in the school’s general course, which allows participants to choose from over 300 courses spanning the social sciences, according to the school’s website. The website also stipulates that students in the general course become lifelong alumni of the school, which provides a range of benefits. General course students, according to the school’s website, typically enroll in four full-credit courses which span their full year at LSE.

The eligibility criteria for the course include the successful completion of at least two years of university-level study in a country outside the United Kingdom and success in one’s academic coursework, particularly in the social sciences.

Vincent Pascasio, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’25, is currently studying at LSE as a part of the collaboration between LSE and Fordham. Pascasio said he was “shocked, but perhaps not surprised” to find out that the program is not being offered in the 2024 application cycle.

Pascasio explained that although participating in the program is a significant academic and personal commitment, he feels that the opportunity to gain experience outside one’s social space makes that commitment worthwhile.

Echoing Pascasio’s sentiment, Adam D’Souza, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) ’24 and The Observer’s former business manager, studied abroad in the program partnership with LSE during the 2022-23 academic year and noted that the one academic year duration of the program was a key factor in leading him to choose to attend LSE.

The London School of Economics was unaware of Fordham’s decision to discontinue the program collaboration for the 2024-25 academic year. (MARCYS GANCHER VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

“Being there for such a long time, you get to do so much,” D’Souza noted. He described the program as “the best year of my life.”

Despite his positive experience overall, D’Souza noted that union activity at LSE during their year abroad made the experience more difficult, particularly when it came to transferring credits.

Pascasio said that labor activity within the educational sphere has not disturbed his experience, but a train workers’ strike has led to canceled classes due to commute delays.

D’Souza added that while he was unaware the program was not being offered in the next academic year, he was not surprised as he described many problems at LSE during his stay.

“Teachers would go on strike — and they would go on strike for three weeks — and you just wouldn’t have class for three weeks,” D’Souza recounted. “So what were you supposed to do?”

He regrets that this opportunity will not be available to Fordham students for the following academic year.

He further explained that, despite being in his final year at Fordham, he is classified as a sophomore due to the delay in receiving his LSE transcript as a result of the marking and assessment boycott. According to D’Souza, this has caused confusion between his adviser, the Rev. Vincent DeCola, S.J., assistant dean of the Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center; the study abroad office; and LSE.

DeCola declined to comment on the status of the program.

The marking and assessment boycott was an industrial action by the University and College Union in the United Kingdom which “covered all marking and assessment processes that contribute to summative assessment decisions for all students.” The boycott lasted from April 20, 2023, to Sept. 6, meaning students did not receive grades from impacted institutions during that period.

Pascasio noted that he will consider taking advantage of the discounted tuition rate for graduate school at LSE, which is offered to him as an alumni of the institution, and said he regrets that this opportunity will not be available to Fordham students for the following academic year.

While the LSE program is no longer approved by the study abroad office, the university’s study abroad website continues to advertise its London Centre campus, which is open to both Fordham College and Gabelli students and is located in Clerkenwell, a central part of London.

At the time of publication, Dennis Jacobs, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, could not be reached for comment. Additionally, Bob Howe, associate vice president for communications and special adviser to the president, declined to comment beyond the statement provided by Joseph Rienti.

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About the Contributor
ANA KEVORKIAN, Former Managing Editor
Ana Kevorkian (she/her), FCLC ’24, is the former managing editor at The Fordham Observer. This is her third year with The Observer, having previously served as head copy editor, and she is so excited to serve the organization which has given her so much in this capacity. When she’s not doing Observer-related tasks, you can find her watching movies (see: “Fordham Cinephiles Can Finally Know Peace”), listening to Taylor Swift, reading and wandering the city aimlessly.

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